From the monthly archives: March, 2012
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Many people ask me if I can pick a good notebook for them and send them a quote. That’s extremely hard to do, because everyone’s expectation of what they want in a notebook is different. Oh sure, many people want 4GB of ram, Windows 7 Pro, and a good processor…but that’s the easy part. When picking the right notebook for yourself, keep in mind- the dimensions and weight are important. Some people want more of a “mobile workstation notebook”, where the screen is 15 inches diagonal and allows for a numpad to be part of the keyboard, yet some will find that unit to be way too heavy and bulky in the 5 to 6 pound range. Then an individual may find that for themselves, a 12 inch ultra portable to have too small of a screen. Some people go for the ultra-thin lightweight models, but then they realize that the DVD Rom drive will then have to be an external USB model.
For me personally, quoting a “good” desktop system is far easier than quoting a notebook to someone. When picking a notebook, screen size, weight, keyboard layout, and how the unit handles the media drive can all be a factor in determining which unit is best. So keep that in mind when considering your next notebook so we can find the notebook that best suits you.
Every year, Questeq awards a $500 Technology Award to one senior student of each of our customer schools. For those attending Robert Morris University, the university awards a one-time $500.00 matching award. This award was recently been given a new title in recognition of one of Questeq’s valued employees, Mark Stainbrook, who passed away in September of 2006. Mark served as Questeq’s National Sales Representative and was passionate about technology changing and improving education for the future. Since the scholarship program started in 2002, over 30 students have been awarded more than $15,000.
The Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) requires that schools and libraries that receive funding from the federal E-rate program monitor minors' online activities and block or filter content that is obscene, contains child pornography, or is "harmful to minors." Restricting children's access to obscene and pornographic content at school sounds perfectly reasonable in theory. But in practice many schools actually filter a lot more than that, blocking access to some of the most popular Web 2.0 sites -- Dropbox, Skype, Twitter, Wikipedia, Facebook and YouTube, for example.
With many of our schools blocking access to YouTube as a way to protect students from content that is inappropriate — or worse — the online video site opened a new network that allows access only to content that can be used in the classroom. The network setting, YouTube for Schools, gives schools the option to sign up with the Web site’s education channel, YouTube for Schools. By signing up, schools automatically disable certain features, including the ability to make comments on posted videos, and other distractions to student learning, YouTube announced.
Questeq engineers are researching solutions to access this service. Currently most of our content filters are blocking youtube.com at the domain level which makes the implementation of youtube.com/schools extremely difficult because most content filters only allow exclusions at the host level. Questeq engineers continue to work with our site Directors to develop a solution to the problem.
Many of Questeq’s customers make sure they are getting at least a 3 year warranty on their desktop systems. We personally use and sell HP systems, and we always make sure to offer the 3 year warranty. However, many customers don’t apply the same logic to their notebooks purchases, but they probably should. Where most mid-end desktops often come with a 3 year warranty, most notebooks only ship with a 1 year warranty. This is something manufacturers do to make notebooks appear to be more affordable. Unfortunately, many customers who are used to 3 year warranties on their desktops tend to also assume their notebook purchases come with three year warranties too. This is often not the case.
On average, a post warranty notebook repair tends to involve a complete motherboard swap (since notebooks are basically a totally integrated form factor). Often, such an out of warranty hardware swap in year two or three, as a manufacturer-billed repair, costs more than the depreciated value of the notebook. So a ‘repair’ of an out of warranty notebook, even in year two, can eclipse the value of that notebook fairly easily.
That’s why we at Questeq always recommend and offer 3 year warranties on notebook purchases. Notebooks generally cost a bit more than desktops, so that makes them even more of an investment worth protecting. We also recommend HP desktops, notebooks, and workstations, which have achieved record-low failure rates for us at our sites. Good warranties and good hardware make for happy customers and productivity for those customers.
Purchaser/Inside Sales Manager